Aldi Finally Plans To Upscale Its Online Shopping

Budget grocer Aldi has always been delightfully bare bones, a large part of the reason why customers have enjoyed such low prices. Unlike many big box stores, Aldi sells hardly any name-brand products, preferring to keep to schlep the chain's own private label more than 90% of the time, per Business Insider. Such products don't require millions in massive advertising and marketing budgets, so that definitely helps keep costs low.

Aldi also famously has customers bag their own groceries and do a temporary cart rental of sorts, during which they insert a quarter to be able to use a shopping cart, then are refunded once it's returned. This keeps labor costs low because workers aren't doing the heavy lifting, so to speak. Then, there's Aldi's comparatively small footprint. At only 12,000 square feet of sales space, the standard Aldi location is far smaller than a comparable grocer, making it less expensive to purchase/rent/maintain.

Now, historic inflation and a general interest in fiscal savviness is driving more people to shop there, as it's once again the fastest-growing grocery store in the U.S. In fact, current projections estimate that it'll be the third-largest supermarket chain in the country by the end of 2023, RetailWire says. However, although Aldi has traditionally taken the minimalist approach, the powers-that-be recognize that times are changing, and they need to get with the program.

How the new Aldi online experience stacks up against the old one

Visit the Aldi website today and you'll likely find the experience to be a bit limiting. Prices are not listed and neither is the full inventory of products. However, Aldi has partnered with an e-commerce specialist company named Spryker Systems to create a better virtual shopping functionality, which will include both curbside and delivery options, says Supermarket News. Currently, the site is in the beta test stage for a limited number of U.S. customers. No word yet on when it will be officially available at a store near you, but it's expected to be released in phases.

This development is likely to be a big boon to Aldi's bottom line, as online grocery sales have skyrocketed in recent years, with $32.7 billion in sales in the U.S. in 2022 alone. This year has seen an uptick of 5.3%, bringing growth to 17.6% from 2017 to 2022, according to IBIS World. So, whether there isn't room for a full shopping trip in the day's schedule or you simply want someone else to do it for you, Aldi's about to get a lot more convenient, hopefully with the same level of value.